Sunday, December 05, 2021

Sunday Scripture

 

As promised, here is our first Sunday Scripture for December.  Remember, I am writing these posts from an Advent study that I did with Good Morning Girls in 2013.  The study, Keeping Our Hearts Focused on Jesus, is still available as a free download, so if you are interested head on over there and get it.  Scroll down and click on the book-like image similar to the illustration above, and the pdf should open right up.  This lovely study also includes recipes and meaningful Advent activities, so you might want to take a look!

Just a note too that I am also doing Sunday Scripture posts over at my Christmas blog, Mrs. T's Christmas Kitchen -- and I am using different verses (from the same study) in those Sunday posts.  So if you really want some biblical encouragement during this Christmas season, you might enjoy reading at both blogs.

I've mentioned before that I like to use the SOAP method of Bible study, and the studies from GMG use a very similar one.  I find this method a real blessing whether I am studying shorter passages or longer ones, so I hope you'll give it a try if you haven't ever done so. Just a reminder that the S is for Scripture -- just write it out -- and the O is for Observation, the A is for Application and the P is for prayer -- concerning how you'll apply this verse or passage,  or praise for what it means to you.

Each week of this Advent study focuses on a theme: Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace.  This first week's verses are focused on Hope.

For today's Scripture I chose to focus in on John 1:1-4.  In the actual study, this one was from December 2 -- just in case you downloaded the study and are following along with it.

S=  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
"The same was in the beginning with God. 
"All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.
"In Him was life; and the life was the light of men."  (John 1:1-4)

O=  The theme of John's Gospel is the Deity of Christ.  These verses are part of a section on the subject of what C.I. Scofield has titled "The Eternal Word incarnate in the Son of God".  He writes, "In the Being, Person, and work of Christ, Deity is expressed."

Verse 1 makes it clear that Jesus has always been -- He is eternal -- and that He is, in fact, God.  Verse 3 plainly states that Jesus is the Creator -- all things were made by Him, and nothing was made without Him.  Verse 4 notes that in Him was life -- and to me this means He is not only the Giver of life, but He is the Source of eternal life.

A=  The fact that Jesus is God is crucially important to my salvation.   If He were not God, His sacrifice would not have been sufficient to pay for my sins.

As I contemplate His coming to earth for this purpose -- to be born as a human baby in the humblest of circumstances -- it is mind-boggling to think of it.  The Creator of the universe!  The embodiment of divine wisdom!  The self-existent One who has always been and always will be!  That He would come to this fallen world, to be born as a helpless baby, to grow up and die a gruesome death to atone for the sins of mankind -- it is beyond our understanding.  The love that would motivate such a plan is unfathomable.

P=  "Lord, I cannot even begin to thank You for Your love.  The words "thank You" are just woefully inadequate -- and even a life given back to You is such a small and insignificant offering in return for all that You have done for me.  I thank and praise You for loving me -- and all mankind -- so much.  I thank and praise You for Your sacrifice on my behalf -- a sacrifice that involved far more than I can even begin to comprehend.  Help me, I pray, to live my life in a way that counts for You, every day.  In Jesus' name, Amen."

And there is this week's Sunday Scripture!  I hope that it has given someone some encouragement and some food for thought.

Saturday, December 04, 2021

How I adapted the "Christmas in a Can" idea

 

Detail from an embroidered table runner

 As I mentioned yesterday, I was really taken with that "Christmas in a can" idea -- packing a clean, unused paint can with all manner of Christmasy objects as a family gift. But I knew my own adaptation of it would need to involve a box or a large sack rather than a measly gallon can!

I really wanted to give my kids and grandkids some things that I had made, things they could bring out every Christmas season even after I’m gone, and say, “Mom (or Grammy) made these special things.” I also wanted to give these things to them near the end of November, so they could bring them out at the beginning of the Christmas season.  

I also wanted to add in special treats like popcorn, hot cocoa, Christmas napkins and more that they might not purchase for themselves.

So I actually did do this for a couple of years, though I can no longer remember which things I gave them in which years. But here are some of the things I’ve done:

* Handmade advent calendars

  

* Gooseberry Patch Christmas books

 

* Children’s hardcover Christmas books

* Christmas craft or idea books

* Microwave popcorn with handmade Christmas wrappers

* Packets of hot chocolate, with handmade Christmas wrappers

* Holiday teas

 

* Handmade Christmas fabric table runners
 
* Handmade ornaments
 
* Hand-crocheted personalized stockings
 

* Mr. T’s old work socks, embellished with holiday fabric patches and buttons
 
* Cross-stitched bread cloths and hand towels with Christmas motifs
 
* Personalized Christmas address labels (designed and printed by me)

* Cookie cutters

* Christmas paper napkins

... and more!

You could probably think of even more ideas that you could do that might suit your family.  Have fun with it!  

And if you like to make things, I encourage you to plan ahead for next year to craft some special Christmas items that will one day be heirlooms for your loved ones.

Friday, December 03, 2021

Christmas in a can

 

Yesterday I promised to share about my second favorite handmade gift that I've ever given.  So today, I'm going to share my original inspiration for this gift -- I wrote about it on my Christmas blog in 2007 -- and then tomorrow I will share how I adapted the idea.  I'm sure some of my readers will be interested in the first idea as well as the second, so that's why I'm including both.

Many years ago I came across this idea on a site I was visiting. I wanted to do this for my married kids and their families. It was several years before I actually got around to doing anything about it, and my results ended up being quite different from the original idea I had found, but thought others might enjoy hearing about this early Christmas gift anyway.

The original idea begins with a clean, unused, gallon paint can. You can cover the outside with Christmas themed kraft paper or any Christmas wrapping paper. You can make a label with clip art and a nice font that reads “Christmas in a Can” and add “Packed with care” or whatever else you like. You can make a similar label, only round, for the top of the can.

Then the can is packed with items to get a family in the Christmas spirit. Suggestions include:
 

* Microwave popcorn
* Wassail or spiced cider mix
* Hot chocolate mix
* Candy canes
* Cookie cutters
* Cookie mix
* Ornaments
* A short Christmas story or memory, printed in a neat font with clip art, folded in half and rolled up like a scroll.


For the microwave popcorn, you can make holiday wrappers that fold right around the packet of popcorn. Same with individual packets of hot chocolate or spiced cider mix. If using larger amounts of hot chocolate or a dry wassail mix, it was suggested to package 1 to 2 cups of these in the holiday printed plastic bags you can buy and staple a card stock label, with instructions, to the top.

Items in packets will obviously fit in the paint can a lot more easily than items in boxes or jars.

This site also suggested including a gingerbread cookie mix, which is simply a spice cake mix taken out of the box but left in its packet. Then you staple a card stock label to the top, with these instructions:

GINGERBREAD COOKIE MIX
Mix one medium egg, 2 Tblsp. water, and 1/4 cup soft shortening with cookie mix. Makes a stiff dough. Mix well, chill dough. Roll out on floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375ยบ for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool and decorate as desired.

You could probably think of other ideas. When you finish packing the can, place the lid on top and give to the family of your choice.

I thought this was a really neat idea for a family gift!  It would also be great to adapt for a college student or possibly even for someone in assisted living or a nursing home.   I hope someone else will have fun with this idea.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

Early December Hodgepodge

 

Time for the Hodgepodge again, where Joyce asks the questions and bloggers provide the answers on their own blogs!  I am publishing mine on Thursday so I can use it for December 2nd's daily post.  Here are the questions:

1. When it comes to gift giving are you more of a 'create something from scratch' or a 'buy something in a shop' kind of giver? Tell about a favorite homemade gift you've given or one you've received. 

 I am much more a 'create something from scratch' kind of giver.  However, time constraints often prevent me from creating all the gifts I would like to, so I often end up resorting to Amazon wish lists which most of our grandkids have.  Last year, though, I made hats for many of them.  You can read about that here: The Year of the Crocheted Hat.  If you want to see some of the gifts I've made, click the "handmade gifts" label at either blog.  Probably my favorite gift I've ever given is a Christmas memory book.  

 

I'm planning to blog over the next couple days about my second favorite gift I've ever given.

As far as a homemade gift I've received, I would be hard pressed to choose a favorite.  But one of them has to be this felt tea wallet made by my daughter Carrie.  So thoughtful, and I have used it a lot.


Another gift made by Carrie that I use all the time is this lovely case for crochet hooks.  Below you see the case both open and closed.

 

 

And another favorite would be these silhouette ornaments that our daughter Joanna made.  She now has 3 more kids, so needs to make more!  But has a lot less time ...

2. Do you have the 'gift of gab'? Is that a blessing or a curse? 

I do not have the 'gift of gab'.  This guy (wearing a handmade gift by Joanna and crew) does:

And since he does, I don't have to, right?  I think in his case it's a blessing.  Most of the time.

3. What's something you have going on that you need/want to 'wrap up' this month? 

I would love to 'wrap up' my trust responsibilities this month, but most likely that won't be completed until early in 2022.  I'll be surprised and thrilled if it happens in December.

4. A food you love that is 'wrapped' in some way?

Hmmm ....  Oh, I haven't made these in a long time, but Cornish pasties (hand-held meat pies) were a huge favorite with my kids for picnics. We always buy pasties when visiting the mining town of Elko, Nevada.

 

 Calzones are good too -- again, something I haven't made in years.  What is wrong with me?

5. December is upon us...share something here (quote, verse, poem, song lyric, your own thoughts) related to the word hope. 

Delightful graphic by Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
 
"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit."  (Romans 15:13)

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

We're nearly ready to close up our little camp for the winter.  It's going to be an adjustment.  We may be able to squeeze in some afternoons or an overnight there if the temperatures allow, but soon it will look like this:

There's the Hodgepodge for this week!  If you'd like to join in too,  head over to From This Side of the Pond to get the questions and link up.




Wednesday, December 01, 2021

December 1 -- Setting some goals for the month

 

Well, as mentioned, I am trying to get here to my kitchen table every day in this joyful, busy month of December.  I figured I would start by setting some goals for the month -- and you might like to do the same,  if you haven't already done so.  Here are my goals for December as they look right now:

* Keep up with Flylady's homemaking zones of the week if possible
* Post in this blog every day through December if possible
* Decorate for Christmas
* Get things all buttoned up for winter at our camp (we'll complete this in November if we can)
* Finish buying and wrapping Christmas gifts
* Post in my Christmas blog every day through December
* Send a birthday package and Christmas packages to Nevada
* Address and send Christmas cards
* Bake Christmas cookies; make candy and other kitchen gifts
*  Prepare for and attend a monthly ladies' Bible study
* Continue planning for family birthday gifts and crafting any handmade ones
* Craft some homemade Christmas gifts and decorations
* Spend a little time on some UFO craft projects
* Continue stocking my Etsy shop and continue selling vintage items
* Spend some time on my trust responsibilities
* Write at least 4 encouraging notes to friends and family
* Attend my hubby's work Christmas party
* Make and carry out plans for Christmas Eve and Christmas day
* Enjoy Christmas activities at church as we continue meeting with another church family
* Help and encourage my local daughter as I'm able
* Plan meals with a greater emphasis on healthy eating
* Memorize several Bible verses and review some older ones
* Read and study the December readings in the Daily Walk Bible
* Continue our study of the book of Daniel with younger believers
* Continue to help a widowed friend with the challenges of life in general
* Limit sugar
* Get to bed by 9 pm each night  -- maybe even 8:30
* Drink enough water each day
* Walk and/or exercise at least 4 times each week

HEALTHY HABITS FOR DECEMBER:  Drink more water/get more sleep/get more exercise/limit sugar
WORD FOR 2021: Steadfast 

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Starting tomorrow: December Daily!

 


 Yes, I am trying once again to post here at my kitchen table every day in December.  We will see how it goes, but that's my plan as of now.  I'm also planning to post (mostly different content) daily in December over at my Christmas blog, Mrs. T's Christmas Kitchen.

This is my little Christmas gift to all of you.  Lord willing, there will be recipes, decorating and craft ideas, memories, helpful hints and tips, poems, and more -- even a mini Bible study each Sunday.  It'll be fun for all of us, I hope.

Hope to see you all tomorrow!

Monday, November 29, 2021

Upcoming -- Sunday Scripture posts for December!

 

Many readers enjoyed the Sunday Scripture posts I did concerning Psalms, and with that in mind I prayerfully decided to do some similar posts for the Christmas season.  I'm letting you know ahead so that if you wish to download the study I used for yourself, you'll have time to do so.  My plan is to post each Sunday in December -- both here and on my Christmas blog -- from an Advent study I worked through in 2013.  It was another free study from Good Morning Girls, and thankfully it is still available for download.  Here is the link for those who are interested: Keeping Our Hearts Focused on Jesus.  Scroll down to where it says "Free Good Morning Girls Advent Study" and click on the image that looks like this:


It should download for you at that point.  More than just a study, this is an ebook that also includes ideas for activities as well as yummy sounding recipes.

There will be 4 posts from this study here at my Kitchen Table, and 4 different posts over at my Christmas Kitchen blog.  I know that some of you like to read at both blogs during December, and I do try to keep the content different in each.  I hope those who have enjoyed Sunday Scriptures will find this series a blessing as well!

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Sunday Scripture


As promised, I'm back with a Sunday Scripture post focusing on thanksgiving.  I mentioned Wednesday that that post, and this one, are from a Thanksgiving/fall study from Good Morning Girls that I did back in fall of 2013.  Sadly, it seems that this little 2-week study -- Focusing our Hearts on Gratitude -- is no longer available.  If anyone is interested in the Scripture verses to do your own little study, just let me know and I can send you the references.

 The verses I chose for today are from Day 6 of the study.  We were to read 1 Chronicles 29:1-20, and the verses to SOAP were 11-13.  ( Just a reminder that the S is for Scripture -- just write it out -- and the O is for Observation, the A is for Application and the P is for prayer -- concerning how you'll apply this verse or praise for what it means to you.  And if you've never tried this simple method, I hope that you will give it a try and see if you find it as helpful as I do.)

So without further ado, here is my simple study of 1 Chronicles 29:11-13:

S= "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory; and the victory, and the majesty; for all that is in the heaven and earth is Thine.  Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as head above all.
"Both riches and honor come of Thee; and Thou reignest over all; and in Thine hand is power and might; and in Thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
"Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name." (1Chronicles 29:11-13)

O= These verses are part of David's prayer of thanksgiving on the occasion of the people willingly giving gold, silver, precious stones, and more to be used in Solomon's Temple.

One repetition that stands out to me is David's references to God as King:
"Thine is the kingdom, O LORD";
"Thine, O LORD, is the majesty";
"Thou art exalted as head above all";
"Thou reignest over all".

"Power" is another repeated word:
"Thine, O LORD, is the power";
"In Thine hand is power and might".

"Glory" is another repeated theme:
"Thine, O LORD, is the glory";
"We praise Thy glorious name".

Verse 11 begins with one-word descriptions of some of God's characteristics:
*  Greatness
*  Power
*  Glory
*  Victory
*  Majesty

Verses 11-12 continue on with some complete statements about who God is:
*  All that is in heaven and earth is His.
*  His is the kingdom.
*  He is exalted as Head above all.
*  Both riches and honor come from Him.
*  He reigns over all.
*  In His hand are power and might.
*  In His hand it is to make great.
*  His hand gives strength unto all.

Verse 13 notes that therefore -- because of all that is true about God as stated in 11-12 -- we thank Him, and praise His glorious name.  

A=  Because God is Head above all, I must always acknowledge Him as King and as sovereign over my life. 
I must never forget that everything I have is a gift from His hand.
I must always look to Him for strength, as He is the only true source of strength.

God is always deserving of my thanks and praise for all that He has done and for everything that He is!

P= "Lord,  I praise You for all that You are!  Yours is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty!  All that is in heaven and on earth belongs to You!  Yours is the kingdom, and You are rightly exalted as Head above all things!
"All that I have -- all that anyone has -- is from Your hand.  You are the Source of every good thing and of any strength that we have.
"Therefore, I thank and praise You, not only for all that You are, but for all that You have done and for all that You continue to do.  You are most worthy of praise!  In Jesus' name, Amen."

I hope that this fresh look at 1 Chronicles 29 was a blessing to you in this Thanksgiving season!  It certainly was to me -- and what a great reminder in these uncertain times that this Almighty God has all things under His sovereign control.

Friday, November 26, 2021

Friday five

 

Pretty graphic by Gooseberry Patch
 Just popping in with a quick Friday five since I didn't get here yesterday to wish everyone a blessed Thanksgiving.  Here are a few things I'm thankful for from the past week.

1.  Getting to hear our granddaughter's orchestra group play for a community square dance last Saturday evening.  It was great to realize that this New England tradition is being carried on by younger people.  (Photo shamelessly stolen from my daughter Carrie.)  The music was great, too.

2.  A wonderful Thanksgiving service and dinner at church last Sunday.  I may have mentioned that our church, without a pastor for over six years, is meeting together with another church with an eye to a potential merger, probably next spring.  It is so good to be part of a larger group and to enjoy learning, worshiping, and growing together as well as planning for community outreach.  Below is the bulletin cover from our Thanksgiving service.  We enjoyed this as well as a praise and prayer service on Wednesday night as well.  Thankfulness is always appropriate!

3.   Getting to have one last campfire, s'mores and a game at our little camp with the next-door grandkids.  Snow and cold weather coming ... but Lord willing we will have many more such times next year.  Photo is from 2020, but it's still the same camp, the same chairs and the same fire pit.

4.   Seeing how God has blessed as our daughter and son-in-law have been working on a much needed addition to their home.  They were able to host Thanksgiving dinner in the new space.  Below is part of the table and some of the lovely autumn decor.  (Again, I borrowed this photo and the one below from my daughter, but I don't think she will mind.)

5.  Getting together with family and friends for Thanksgiving.  There was far too much food (but oh, so delicious!), lots of good conversation, music and game-playing -- and moments of laughing so hard (over Telestrations) that we cried.  I wholeheartedly enjoyed not letting the Grinch steal Thanksgiving.  

 We all have so much to be thankful for!  How was your Thanksgiving, friends?

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Thanksgiving Eve Scriptures ...

 Here's what I hope will be a special treat for some of my readers who have been enjoying the Sunday Scripture posts and hated to see them end.  I've put some thought and prayer into this and decided that my last Sunday post for November will be based on a passage I worked through during a Thanksgiving study in 2013.  Then, in thinking a bit more, I decided to choose a second passage from the study and use it for a special Thanksgiving Eve post.

This Thanksgiving study is an older, two-week one from Good Morning Girls.  I did a little research but, sadly, it seems to be no longer available.  I keep getting a "Page Not Found" message.  I'm so thankful that I was able to find the notebook in which I recorded my study, so I can share it with you all.

Although I love working on more in-depth Bible studies, these simpler ones are also a blessing to do, and I was very encouraged by this special Thanksgiving study.  Even though I can't give you the link, I hope that you will be blessed by what is shared here.  Maybe you would even like to start with the same Scripture, or even choose another passage on thanksgiving or thankfulness and SOAP it for yourself.

 I enjoy this SOAP method of Bible study, and the GMG studies use a very similar method.  I find this method a real blessing whether I am studying shorter passages or longer ones, so I hope you'll give it a try if you haven't ever done so. Just a reminder that the S is for Scripture -- just write it out -- and the O is for Observation, the A is for Application and the P is for prayer -- concerning how you'll apply this verse or praise for what it means to you.

Today's study is from Psalm 100,  verses 4 and 5.  We were to read the whole psalm (easy enough since it's just 5 verses) but to focus on the last two verses.

S=  "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.
"For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endureth to all generations."  (Psalm 100:4-5)

O= The psalm is titled "A psalm of praise."  The author is not named.  The psalm appears to be addressed to "all ye lands" (verse 1), but in reading on, it seems more as if it is addressing God's people (verse 3 -- "we are His people").  

I notice that verse 4 contains four commands:
* Enter into His gates with thanksgiving
* Enter His courts with praise
* Be thankful to Him
* Bless His name.

Then verse 5 alludes to three or perhaps four attributes of God:
* The LORD is good
* His mercy is everlasting
* His truth endures to all generations

(In the last one I see both His truth and His covenant-keeping faithfulness to His people.)

A=  I need to offer thanksgiving to God.  I am to praise Him, to be thankful to Him, and to speak well of His matchless name.

God is worthy of my praise for many reasons, but here I specifically see that I need to praise and thank Him because He is good, because His mercy is everlasting, because His truth is enduring and because His faithfulness is great.

P=  "Lord, my heart is overflowing with thanksgiving as I praise You for all that You are, and as I thank You for all that you have done in my life.
"Lord, You are good -- all the time -- and I praise You for Your goodness.  Your mercy is everlasting, and You have been abundantly merciful to me and to all of Your people.  Your truth is enduring and will never, ever change.
"Help me, Lord, to continue to encourage my friends to get to know You better.  And help my life to speak well of You and to live out thanksgiving daily, so that my friends who don't yet know You will see an accurate picture of You at work in my life. 
"Truly, You are worthy to be praised!  In Jesus' name, Amen."

There's our simple Thanksgiving study for today ... Look for another on Sunday.  

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

An encouraging pre-Thanksgiving read

 

 Just sneaking in on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to encourage my readers to celebrate the upcoming holiday with joy and gratitude.  It is so easy, in light of all of the difficulties folks are dealing with these days, to want to bypass this wonderful family holiday.  Last evening I read an article so encouraging that I wanted to share it with all of you.  Here is the link: Let's Make It Happen: Saving Thanksgiving from the Grinch.  The author is Jeff Minick.  

Whenever I'm browsing through the latest Epoch Times newspaper, I'm nearly always drawn to articles by Jeff Minick.  I so enjoy his writing.  He often expresses just what I would like to say if I were more eloquent. (If you wish to read more of his writing, you can check out his blog, Learning As I Go.  You can also look up his articles in The Epoch Times archives here.  I don't have time to read as many blogs as I would like, so I usually just read his newspaper articles.)

I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did, and that you will make plans for a grateful celebration in some fashion or other.  Ours will include food, family, friends, music, games, and no doubt lots of laughter -- and for that (among many, many other things) I am very thankful.  Let's be sure we are not letting the Grinch steal Thanksgiving, but that we are celebrating with gratefulness and joy!

Monday, November 22, 2021

Cozy camp breakfasts

 

This morning as we were eating breakfast at our little camp, I happened to think that others might like to know how we've been making breakfast happen there on the mornings after we stay over.  Usually, our breakfast there has been extremely simple: a supermarket bakery muffin (oh, so healthy!๐Ÿ˜Š) and two mugs of coffee.  

But once we embarked on a 40-day sugar fast, we needed to do something a little different -- but it still had to be quick and easy.  One thing I did was to research refined-sugar free muffins.  Chocolate-Covered Katie has some great ones.   The first recipe I tried was Coffee Cake Muffins.  They turned out perfectly!  I used xylitol instead of sugar in the muffin part and coconut sugar in the crumb topping.  I also substituted frozen raspberries for the chopped strawberries.  

Next, I tried Katie's Applesauce Muffins.  I used xylitol in these.  They also turned out very well.  In each case, I packaged the muffins all together in a plastic container and froze them.  Then I put the number of muffins we wanted to take to the camp each time in a smaller plastic container for transport.  In the morning we put the desired number of muffins in a round foil cake pan and placed it atop the woodstove to warm a bit.

 I also made Katie's Apple Bread.  That was very good as well, and I liked being able to pour the batter into a loaf pan rather than taking time to fill individual muffin tins.   I brought the loaf along (frozen in between uses) and in the morning we just sliced off a slice or two and warmed it in the foil cake pan the same way as the muffins.  It is not super sweet (I didn't add the coconut butter "frosting" pictured in the recipe) but is quite tasty.  I upped the cinnamon to a teaspoon (recipe called for 1/2 tsp.) but I think another time I would add at least 2 teaspoons.  It just didn't taste cinnamon-y enough to me.

As time has gone on and the weather has gotten colder, we've found it seems really important to have a warm breakfast.  The two smaller rooms are uninsulated, so it gets rather chilly "around the edges" away from the woodstove.

One sugarless breakfast that really fills the quick and yet warm requirement is crockpot oatmeal, so some mornings we've been having that.  I will share the best recipe I've come up with for it, which I adapted from one in Gooseberry Patch's Fall, Family and Friends:

COZY CROCKPOT OATMEAL

2 cups almond milk
1 cup old-fashioned oats (uncooked)
1/4 cup brown sugar or alternative sweetener; I used xylitol in the best version I made
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons maple syrup, honey or agave
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 medium apples, cored, unpeeled, chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Spray the inside of a 3-quart slow cooker with non-stick vegetable spray.  Place all ingredients in slow cooker and mix well.  Cover and cook on Low setting for 7 or 8 hours.  Stir before serving in bowls.  We topped ours with a pat of butter and some half and half cream.  Makes about 4 servings.

Probably no one but me will need these details, but since we brought this over in the late afternoon and wouldn't start cooking it until bedtime, I put the oats, sugar, butter, cinnamon, raisins and walnuts in the slow cooker for transport.  I brought the apples separately and put the milk and maple syrup into a quart jar, refrigerating the jar when we reached camp. 

(I had previously tried it the other way around -- placing the milk and syrup into the slow cooker and bringing the dry ingredients in a ziplock bag.  Well, the camp is located on a very bumpy dirt road and by the time we reached there, milk had spattered all over the inside of the crockpot lid.  Not a huge deal, but it worked better bringing the liquids in a jar.)

Just before bedtime, I chopped the apples and mixed everything together in the slow cooker.  It was ready in 7 hours and we enjoyed every bite.

If you are trying to avoid sugar too, you might find that one or more of these recipes will add interest to your breakfast routine.  Our sugar fast finishes tomorrow, but we'll be starting another in January, so we will be enjoying these breakfast treats again soon!


Sunday, November 21, 2021

Sunday Scripture

 

Regular readers know I've been posting each Sunday for several months about a simple study of Psalms that I worked on throughout summer 2020.  It was a perfect study to be working on amid the uncertainties of that year -- and some of it was done sitting at picnic tables while camping in the midst of God's glorious creation.  There just couldn't have been a better backdrop --so awe-inspiring, and so many great reminders of God's amazing power and wisdom.

Although the study book covers all the rest of the book of Psalms, I only got as far as Psalm 129, so today's post will be the last in this series.  I'm not sure if I will continue these Sunday posts, but I may -- possibly with an Advent study I've previously completed.  We will see.

This Psalms study is another from Good Morning Girls.  Although I love working on more in-depth Bible studies, these simpler ones are also a blessing to do.  In fact, once I finish the GMG Psalms study, I hope to tackle a more in-depth study of the same Psalms,  from the The Daily Grace Co.

 I like to use the SOAP method of Bible study, and the journal from GMG uses a very similar method.  I find this method a real blessing whether I am studying shorter passages or longer ones, so I hope you'll give it a try if you haven't ever done so. Just a reminder that the S is for Scripture -- just write it out -- and the O is for Observation, the A is for Application and the P is for prayer -- concerning how you'll apply this verse or praise for what it means to you.

Today's study is from Psalm 129.  Today we were to focus on verse 8, but I chose to look closely at verses 4-6 along with verse 8.

S= "The LORD is righteous; He hath cut asunder the cords of the wicked.
"Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.
"Let them be as the grass upon the housetops, which withereth before it groweth up.
"Neither do they which go by say, the blessing of the LORD be upon you; we bless you in the name of the LORD."  (Psalm 129:4-6, 8)

O=  In the Scofield Reference Bible, C.I. Scofield has titled this chapter "A plea from the persecuted."  Israel has been afflicted by her enemies from the beginning.  Yet Israel's enemies had not completely defeated the nation.  A cross-reference to verse 2 (which states, "Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth: yet they have not prevailed against me") is Jeremiah 1:19 -- "They shall fight against thee, but shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee."  Here in verse 5 the psalmist is praying that his enemies will be confounded and turned back and that God would withhold His blessing from them.

A=  It's good to know that although our enemies may fight against us, since God is with us, He will not allow them to prevail against us. 
       We're in a difficult situation as a country.  The enemies of freedom are at the door and pushing hard to get in.  We pray that the Lord will confound them and turn them back -- and, as God's people, we know that He is with us and our enemies cannot prevail against us.

P=  "Lord, I pray that You will confound the enemies of freedom who desire to put our country in bondage.  I pray that You will turn them back and prevent them from their evil intents.  I pray that in Your grace and mercy you may bring their efforts to nothing.  I praise You that You are the righteous God and that You always act in righteousness.  I thank You for all You will do, in Jesus' name, Amen."

And that's the last post in our Psalms study for now!  I hope to be back with another Scripture series (or eventually a continuation of this one) fairly soon.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Friday five

 

 Just jumping in for a quick Friday five!

1.  Reaching a new milestone in our walking goals this week.  It was pretty exciting to conquer a super-steep hill two days this week.  The photo below is from our walking route, a couple of autumns ago.

2.  Having mild enough temperatures last night to be able to stay at our little camp.  Our daughter and some of the kiddos came over for an hour or so and it was such a joy to have them.  Photo below is not from last night, but it could have been.  Vacuum cleaner and all.

3.  A hospitable daughter and capable son-in-law who helped us out early this morning when one of our brand-new tires went flat at the bottom of their driveway (we were headed from our camp to the grocery store, then home, when this untimely event took place).  Jim is at left below in this photo from Columbus Day.  So thankful for him.

4.  A phone chat this morning with a friend I haven't seen in months.  It was a blessing to catch up a little bit!

5.  Getting to spend a little time at my crafting desk as the snow swirls outside the dormer window.  I'm making one of these 



 -- only the name will be Rosemary.  I have already made the "Happy Birthday" part and the families have them, but add a separate name banner for each new child.  Rosemary will turn 1 in a couple of weeks!

And there you have it.  So thankful for God's many blessings this week!

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

A hodgepodge of grateful thoughts

 

 It's Wednesday again, where Joyce asks the questions and bloggers answer on their own blogs, linking up to the Wednesday Hodgepodge.  Here we go with the questions for this week:

1. It's often said we should be grateful for small blessings. What is one small blessing you are feeling especially grateful for today?

This is a very small one indeed in the scheme of things, but it is lifting my spirits this fall -- just the way even the smallest trees -- or maybe especially the smallest trees -- still have such glorious color.  The photos below are from the camp, a couple weeks ago, but this morning while walking I noticed some even tinier trees, hardly more than bushes, have some of the most beautiful, glowing red leaves.  Just a spirit lifter from the Lord!


2. How do you feel about leftovers, not just on Thanksgiving but after any meal? Favorite thing to make/eat using your Thanksgiving leftovers? 

We love leftovers in this house.   I like to incorporate them into another meal, but if there is only a small amount of something left over one of us will have it for lunch or even for breakfast.  For Thanksgiving leftovers, pumpkin or apple pie makes a great breakfast!  I also like, as mentioned in a previous hodgepodge post, a sandwich made with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, lettuce, and plenty of mayo.

Pumpkin/Dutch apple pie -- one of our favorites

3. Sherwin Williams unveiled its 2022 Color of the Year-Evergreen Fog. Are you a fan? Would I find this mid-tone gray green shade anywhere in your house? Does your house need painting? Inside or out? What one space is most in need of a paint job? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire a professional? 

Oh!  I am a fan! This color is beautiful.  I love how calming it feels.  It's possible you might find this in my house.  It would be nice in the dining area if the kitchen colors were different -- or possibly on a bedroom wall.  Only a few walls in our home have paint and some have wallpaper; both need redoing but we are looking to cover most of them with V-groove pine.  We are definitely do-it-yourselfers.

4. What is one aspect of the way you were parented that you are grateful for today? 

Supper together around the table every night.   I'm beginning to realize that this can be a rarity for families today, and I believe that kids crave this time.   I'm very grateful to have grown up with this.  My mom was an amazing cook, and the supper table was a cheerful, comfortable place.

5. Write an acrostic for the word-thankful

T - Trustworthy God
H - Home (heavenly as well as earthly)
A - Abundant blessings
N - New life in Christ
K - Kids (and grandkids)
F - Friends and family
U - Undeserved grace of God
L - Life eternal; love, laughter and liberty

 


6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I just learned that a friend in another country who was very ill some months ago just had a checkup and is doing so well.  His lung function has increased to 92%.  A huge answer to prayer! 

 And that's the Hodgepodge for this week!  (Wouldn't you like to join in on the Hodgepodge, too?  To get the questions and link up, head over to From This Side of the Pond.)